Comparison of swallowing function after intensity-modulated radiation therapy and conventional radiotherapy for head and neck cancer

Barbara Roa Pauloski*, Alfred W. Rademaker, Jerilyn A. Logemann, Muveddet Discekici-Harris, Bharat B. Mittal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background Intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) is hoped to protect structures important for swallow function. We compared posttreatment swallow function in 7 pairs of patients with head and neck cancer treated with either IMRT or conventional radiotherapy (RT). Methods Patients were matched on tumor characteristics. Swallowing function was evaluated with the modified barium swallow procedure pretreatment and at 3 and 6 months postcancer treatment completion. Swallows were analyzed for bolus transit times, bolus residues, laryngeal closure (LAC) duration, cricopharyngeal opening (CPO) duration, and oropharyngeal swallow efficiency (OPSE). Data were analyzed using multifactor repeated measures analysis of variance and adjusted for baseline function. Results Main effect of radiation type was significant for all measures on at least 1 bolus type. Patients treated with IMRT demonstrated shorter bolus transit times, less oral and pharyngeal residue, longer LAC, and larger OPSE. Conclusion Patients treated with IMRT demonstrated faster, more efficient swallows, and greater airway protection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1575-1582
Number of pages8
JournalHead and Neck
Volume37
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2015

Keywords

  • conventional radiotherapy
  • dysphagia
  • head and neck cancer
  • intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology

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